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McSweeney's Quarterly Concern, No. 13: An Assorted Sampler of North American Comic Drawings, Strips, and Illustrated Stories Hardcover – May 14, 2004

20 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Guest-editing Dave Eggers's literary journal, Jimmy Corrigan cartoonist Ware has assembled a beautifully designed anthology of contemporary art comics, with a few vintage treats thrown in, including an excerpt from "Obadiah Oldbuck"—an 1842 publication that's arguably the first American comic book—and a series of very rough sketches by Charles Schulz. A few pieces have recently been published elsewhere (including excerpts from Mark Beyer's loopy, design-heavy Amy and Jordan and Joe Sacco's comics essay on Sarajevo, The Fixer), but the book is a superb introduction to the best American cartoonists working today. Some of them, including Richard McGuire and Mark Newgarden, haven't published much since the heyday of RAW in the late 1980s and early '90s; others, like Lynda Barry and Jaime and Gilbert Hernandez, are prolific creators at the top of their form. As Ira Glass points out in his introduction, Ware seems to believe cartooning gets no respect at all, and his McSweeney's is a passionate defense of the medium. Ware has included work by artists with an impressively varied range of visual styles and narrative techniques. And Ware's own contribution is brilliant: the book's cover unfolds into a gigantic "comics supplement" of his bitter little cartoons, with extra, tiny comic books by Ron Regé Jr. and John Porcellino tucked into its folds.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 263 pages
  • Publisher: McSweeney's; 1st edition (May 14, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1932416080
  • ISBN-13: 978-1932416084
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 7 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #690,440 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Gregory N. Alstad on September 9, 2004
I echo the comments made by other reviewers that this book is beautifully and cleverly designed, setting a standard that promotes ownership and collectability at a very reasonable list price. The content overall is worthy as well, although I do admit to varying degrees of engagement with it. I was aware from time to time of what seems to be a trend in (I'm assuming) younger artists to seemingly construct autobiographical pieces that seem (to me) overly self-involved, self-referential and ultimately fairly trivial. These pieces may not even be truly autobiographical and perhaps only seemingly so but, still, not all that compelling. What I felt was that this somewhat sophomoric content seemed a bit out of place in this type of anthology and I was left feeling that surely there must be far better works that could have replaced these and made the anthology stronger and classic, particularly when accompanied by the essays and historical material. The book's subtance doesn't quite live up to it's style in this case, so I'm deducting a "star" for that but still recommend it as a purchase. Bonus for including SETH!
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Roboto on August 17, 2004
Issue 13 of the McSweeney's Quarterly Concern is sure to blow you away. This 265-page issue is one of McSweeney's largest and quite unusual in that it embraces a variety of graphic aspects. Alternately titled All Your Favorite Comics, this is somewhat of a misnomer in that flipping through the pages you think less of comics and more of craft and social commentary. Contributor's "stories" range from boisterous, to serene, to penetrating to calamitous; a plethora of style and situations for a variety of readers. Perhaps the most notable feature of this book is the cover itself. A sturdy jacket embossed with gold leafing and riddled with comic clips, this jacket folds out to nearly three times revealing a stunning piece of artwork showcasing exactly why McSweeney's books are so coveted by collectors.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Rupert P. on July 14, 2004
...quite possibly the finest piece of literature I have ever held in my hands. It's an issue devoted entirely to comics, and aesthetically, I have never seen anything like it. First is the dust jacket - made to look like a daily sheet, it's intricately covered with different designs and characters, and then folded up very nicely around the book. Tucked in pockets on both the front and back are smaller, booklet type comics.
Inside, the issue is guest edited by Chris Ware and is positively stunning. Lots and lots of full color pages with comics by Daniel Clowes, Chris Ware, R. Crumb, Lynda Barry, Mark Newgarden (The Little Nun), and a newly discovered favorite, Richard McGuire. Also, some history of the comics from the editor.
If you like comics (especially the more conceptually adventurous ones) you'll love this book. If you don't like comics, or don't know if you like comics, go and look at it anyway. You might be surprised.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jack Foster on July 13, 2004
Chris Ware, (ACME Novelty Library, Jimmy Corrigan) guest edits this edition of McSweeney's a spotlight on graphic image narrative. Ware designs in his inimitable, meticulous style what is McSweeney's most handsome volume yet and provides a sturdy editorial structure (including fascinating historical reference and essays as well as his own history of comics). Most of the contributers are artists you'll recognise from independent or self-produced comics, zines, and strips, as well as from low-art magazines like Juxtapoz. These are interspersed with essays by word people (like John Updke) about images. Like every issue of McSweeney's, the grab bag quality is what makes it most successful, you'll see names you know next to names you don't; you'll be surprised by what you find yourself liking and moreover you'll find yourself appreciating the keen vision behind the scenes that pushes each piece of the kaliedescope in front of your eyes. Kudos to McSweeny's for recognising that this insurgent medium that deserves it's own place on Barnes and Noble's shelf, but a larger and more heartfelt amount of recognition should go to Mr. Ware for producing what could really be the Norton Anthology of Graphic Storytelling. The book is thoughtfuilly designed and masterfully put together, benefitting from the attention to detail that makes Ware's artwork so distinctive as well as the sheer quality of the work presented. None of the stories rest on the novelty of being 'comics in a straight book', at their best they are profoundly moving studies that showcase an artist struglling and succeeding in their medium.Read more ›
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on April 28, 2005
For those few who cares, the design of this book is breath-taking. Chris Ware does, not, slack. Every bit of this book is given great level of attention in making sure the details are absolutely perfect.
If you have any love for 1) Comics or 2) Book Design at all, this book is a MUST GET.
Chris Ware; most important Designer and Cartoonist right now.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By I. on February 23, 2006
I have had this book for a year now, and I still get fits of joy every time I take it in my hands or just get a glimpse of its spine on the bookshelf. It's the book I always wanted as a child and never got. Though it contains no children's stuff (of airy-fairy kind or other), it somehow touches the wondering child in me. I wish it had nine more volumes - or better still, McSweeney's dedicated itself exclusively to alternative comics. Congratulations for designer and editor Chris Ware for creating a deeply endearing experience instead of what could have been just an ordinary anthology.
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